Xfinity vs. CenturyLink Internet Review 2021

Xfinity offers up more speeds at good prices, but CenturyLink pairs reasonable costs with a Price for Life guarantee.
Best for Gaming and Streaming
Monthly price
$34.99$94.99
Download speeds
501200 Mbps
Data cap
11.2 TB
Best for No Price Hikes or Contracts
Monthly price
$50$65
Download speeds
100940 Mbps
Data cap
Unlimited
Recent Updates: Less than 6 months
CenturyLink is waving goodbye to its Price for Life guarantee, but don't fret. It still promises no price hikes or contracts, and all of its internet plans now come with unlimited data. So we've updated this review with the newest CenturyLink internet info to give you a better idea of how these two ISPs now compare.
More than 2 years
CenturyLink recently made some changes to its bundles. We'll update this page soon with CenturyLink's current bundle offerings.
More than 3 years
We've updated this review to reflect changes in CenturyLink and Xfinity's internet and TV pricing.
More than 4 years
Heads up: CenturyLink is discontinuing its CenturyLink Prism TV service nationwide. However, CenturyLink will continue to offer TV service as a bundle deal through its partnership with DIRECTV. We will update our analysis of how this compares to Xfinity, but we don't anticipate any changes to our overall ranking as it stands.

Both CenturyLink and Comcast Xfinity bring a lot to the table when it comes to internet service, but we chose Xfinity as our personal internet service provider (ISP).

While CenturyLink offers unlimited data and doesn’t jack up your price or make you sign a contract, Xfinity’s download speeds are faster and more reliable. Plus, Xfinity’s promotional prices might start out as a better deal compared to CenturyLink.

But which ISP is best for you? Read on to find out more about CenturyLink’s versus Xfinity’s prices, internet speeds, data caps, and more.

Compare Xfinity and CenturyLink internet prices near you.

Xfinity vs. CenturyLink: Prices

Depending on where you live, CenturyLink’s speeds vary for the same price, while Xfinity’s prices vary for the same speeds.

Okay, before we dig into the nitty-gritty, let’s chat about where you call home.

Hometown pride aside, your location is important because it affects which Xfinity prices you see and which CenturyLink speeds you get.

Weird, huh? Yeah, we thought so too. Here’s how that cookie crumbles:

  • Xfinity prices change based on which region of the US you live in: West, Central, or Northeast. But the speeds it offers remain the same, with a few changes here and there.
  • CenturyLink speeds change based on where you live—but CenturyLink will pair you up with the fastest speed you can get in your area up to 100 Mbps for the same monthly price. (Excluding its 940 Mbps fiber plan.)

Got all that? Great, now we’re ready to dive head-first into the cookie jar.

Xfinity internet prices and plans
NamePriceDownload speedData capDetails
Performance Starter$19.99*25 Mbps1.2 TBView Plan
Gigabit$94.991200 Mbps1.2 TBView Plan
Data effective 10/04/21. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
* For the first 12 months with a 1-year agreement.
For the first 24 months with a 1-year agreement.

Prices for Xfinity’s internet plans start out much lower than CenturyLink’s, but the speed you get for the price you pay quickly evens out between the two internet service providers (ISPs).

Of course, Xfinity’s whopper of a bill for its 2,000 Mbps plan—which happens to be limited to certain areas of the US—skews things a little. Okay, a lot.

But if you cut off Xfinity’s price range at the much more reasonable $70 a month for the more widely available 1,000 Mbps plan, you get a clearer picture of how Xfinity measures up to CenturyLink. Which seems to be a pretty even match.

What doesn’t match between the two ISPs is which speed each one offers. CenturyLink connects you to the web at 15 to 100 Mbps or at 940 Mbps, but Xfinity has a bunch of speeds in between to choose from. We’d say that makes plans like Xfinity’s Performance Pro and Blast! Pro a better choice for families of streamers or gamers.

“That makes plans like Xfinity’s Performance Pro and Blast! Pro a better choice for families of streamers or gamers.”
Performance Pro
Xfinity Internet - West
Download speed:
200 Mbps
$70 a month
Blast! Pro
Xfinity Internet - West
Download speed:
300 Mbps
$80 a month

All right, we don’t mean to rain on CenturyLink’s parade. Especially since CenturyLink promises to not hike up your price and Xfinity doesn’t. (Yup, Xfinity prices go up after one to two years. Ugh.)

With CenturyLink, your starting price should stay the same as long as you don’t change internet plans or move to a new location. You’ll also need to sign up for paperless billing, but honestly, not many of us rely on snail-mailed bills these days.

CenturyLink prices and plans
NamePriceDownload speedData capDetails
Simply Unlimited Internet$50Up to 100 MbpsUnlimitedView Plans
CenturyLink Fiber Internet$65^940 MbpsUnlimitedView Plan
Data effective 10/04/21. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
Paperless billing or prepay required. Additional taxes, fees, and surcharges apply. Get the fastest internet speed available at your location (max speed is up to 100 Mbps).
^ Rate requires paperless billing. Additional taxes, fees, and surcharges apply. Speeds may not be available in your area. Maximum download/upload speed of up to 940 Mbps via a wired connection.

CenturyLink also doesn’t rope you into a contract. Sure, Xfinity offers a couple of contract-free plans here and there, but most of the time you’ll either keep your Comcast internet for one or two years—or pay an early termination fee if you cancel early.

And we haven’t even touched on data caps yet. All of Xfinity’s internet plans come with a 1.2 TB data cap. Sure, most of us won’t use that much data in a month, but why worry about it when CenturyLink offers unlimited data?

For large families and anyone who wants their internet to pack the biggest punch possible, we also think CenturyLink’s Fiber Internet plan is a steal. (If it’s available to you.)

It rings up at a lower monthly price than Xfinity’s gig speed plan—and is even a better deal than Verizon Fios’s and AT&T Fiber’s gig plans.

“CenturyLink’s Fiber Internet plan is a steal if you can get it.”
Simply Unlimited Internet
CenturyLink Internet
Download speed:
Up to 100 Mbps
Data cap:
Unlimited
$50 a month
CenturyLink Fiber Internet
CenturyLink Internet
Download speed:
940 Mbps
Data cap:
Unlimited
$65 a month

We’ve got more recommended plans and thoughts on pricing in our Xfinity review and our CenturyLink internet review.

Xfinity vs. CenturyLink: Internet speed

There’s no tortoise and the hare story here—Xfinity wins the race.

Both CenturyLink and Xfinity offer quite a few speed options, but like we mentioned before, Xfinity’s plans cover a wider range of speeds. There’s quite a gap between CenturyLink’s 100 Mbps and 940 Mbps plans.

But hey, don’t let Xfinity’s top-tier 2,000 Mbps plan sweep you off your feet. It’s far more likely you’ll get to choose its 1,000 Mbps plan. Besides, you’ll need to fork over about $300 for those 2,000 Mbps speeds.

Xfinity vs. CenturyLink download speed comparison
ProviderDownload speedsUpload speedsData capLearn more
Xfinity Internet501200 Mbps535 Mbps11.2 TBView Plans
CenturyLink Internet100940 Mbps30940 MbpsUnlimitedView Plans

Data effective 11/25/2019. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.

Now, if you want to talk actual speed performance, we’ll still point you to Xfinity.

Comcast Xfinity ranked seventh overall and fourth out of all the large ISPs in our analysis of the fastest ISPs in the US. CenturyLink, on the other hand, ranked 28th overall.

Xfinity vs. CenturyLink internet speed scores1
ProviderReviews.org weighted score
Xfinity46.6 out of 100
CenturyLink20.2 out of 100

A couple of quick caveats here: those scores aren’t representative of actual download speeds for either Xfinity or CenturyLink. Instead, the scores represent a combination of the average download speeds, upload speeds, and latency that Xfinity and CenturyLink internet users saw in more than 1 million speed tests taken in 2019.

Also, we should note that our top-ranked ISP earned a score of 75.6, so Xfinity’s score of 46.6 is actually pretty good. And both Xfinity and CenturyLink are at a disadvantage compared to fiber internet providers since we also measured average upload speeds. Cable and DSL internet don’t have fast upload speeds, but fiber does. (Though Xfinity and CenturyLink both have fiber plans.)

CenturyLink vs. Xfinity: Internet and TV bundles

Xfinity bundles can save you some money, but CenturyLink bundles with DIRECTV.

Typically, bundling your internet with TV service from the same provider saves you some cash. But if you dig into the costs of Xfinity’s and CenturyLink’s bundles, you’ll find this isn’t always true.

One thing’s for sure, though, you’ll save money with most of Xfinity’s bundles versus paying for your internet and TV service separately.

Xfinity TV + internet bundles overview
PlanPriceInternet download speedTV channel countDetails

We’re happy to see Xfinity’s bundle channel counts keep up with CenturyLink’s—a pretty epic feat considering CenturyLink bundles with DIRECTV.

If you’re curious about whether Xfinity offers your favorite channels or not, check out our full-length Xfinity TV review.

Yup, when it comes to bundling internet with TV, good ol’ CenturyLink is going big instead of going home. Since it cut its CenturyLink Prism TV service a few years back, DIRECTV has been CenturyLink’s TV provider of choice.

Sadly, you won’t find many savings around here. Unlike AT&T, which also bundles internet with DIRECTV, CenturyLink’s bundle prices come out to the same price as paying for TV and internet separately. (Sad trombone.)

CenturyLink DIRECTV + internet bundles overview
PlanPriceInternet download speedTV channel countDetails

Still, you’re getting all that DIRECTV channel love by bundling with CenturyLink. Just watch out for that price hike after your first year of DIRECTV service.

Find out why we love DIRECTV so much—even with the price jump—in our DIRECTV review.

Xfinity vs. CenturyLink: Customer service

Both CenturyLink and Xfinity have lots of room to improve, customer service–wise.

Customer service is a touchy issue for ISPs, and we don’t need to tell you why. You’ve been there.

Unfortunately, both Xfinity’s and CenturyLink’s reputations don’t make us feel better about the whole customer service deal. According to the American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI), both ISPs scored lower than the industry average of 62 out of 100.2 (But both did improve by one point.)

CenturyLink vs. Xfinity customer service ratings comparison2
RatingXfinityCenturyLink
ACSI 2018–201961 out of 10059 out of 100

So whaddya do if you have to call Xfinity or CenturyLink? First off, take a deep breath and channel your inner Mother Teresa. Omm . . .

. . . Seriously, though, there’s no point in getting angry or frustrated. Here are some more tips for navigating what feels like trench warfare with customer service:

  1. Use email, live chat, or social media instead of calling so you can unload the dishwasher, play games, or make the bed while you wait.
  2. Get any promises or details in writing—screenshot your chat logs and save those emails.
  3. Ask for a manager if your current representative isn’t helpful.

Recap: Xfinity vs. CenturyLink

If you’re comparing Xfinity and CenturyLink internet, there’s no clear winner.

The good news is, Xfinity is a clear choice if you’re looking for reliably fast internet with lots of download speed options and don’t mind a higher price. And CenturyLink’s Price for Life guarantee is almost irresistible for anyone who’d rather save some money on internet than get the fastest speeds.

  • Pricing: CenturyLink. Both Xfinity and CenturyLink have reasonable prices for the speeds each one offers—but only CenturyLink promises to never bump your price up.
  • Speed: Xfinity. Xfinity offers up more download speed options—and tends to be good on its word when it comes to delivering those speeds.
  • TV + internet bundles: Depending on what you want out of your internet and TV bundle, both Xfinity and CenturyLink can be the pick of the pack. Xfinity has fewer bundle options but will probably save you some cash, while CenturyLink focuses less on savings and more on the deliciousness that is DIRECTV.
  • Customer service: Neither. Both ISPs have a lot of work to do when it comes to improving customer service. Neither one scored higher than the internet industry average ACSI score—though they did both improve by one point over last year’s scores.

Get all the details to help you decide which ISP is best in our Xfinity internet review and our CenturyLink review.

Xfinity vs. CenturyLink pricing and speed recap
ProviderXfinity InternetCenturyLink Internet
Monthly price$34.99$94.99°$50$65**
Download speeds501200 Mbps100940 Mbps
Learn moreView PlansView Plans
Data effective 10/04/21. Offers and availability vary by location and are subject to change.
° For the first 12 months. Some packages require a 1- or 2-year contract.
** New customers only. Rate requires paperless billing and excludes taxes. Additional fees apply.

Compare Xfinity and CenturyLink plans in your area.

Sources

  1. Catherine McNally, Reviews.org, “Fastest Internet Providers 2020,” August 2020. Accessed August 12, 2020.
  2. American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI), “ACSI Telecommunications Report 2018–2019
  • derek

    For online gamers it’s especially important to get some latency measurements, if available, from bandwidth testing services (ex. Ookla). I was forced to switch from Xfinity to CenturyLink because Xfinity had heavily oversubscribed my area. As any gamer knows high latency usually gets you kicked from the game you’re playing. Browsing the web or watching Netflix might work where latency is high but not while you’re playing online.